Tunisia's Ennahda calls for rally in defence of authorities

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Tunisia's Ennahda calls for rally in defence of authorities

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A tense calm returned to the streets of Tunis on Saturday morning following clashes which marred Friday’s funeral of murdered opposition leader Chokri Belaid.

One prominent newspaper called his burial a “funeral of wrath”. His supporters hold the ruling Islamist Ennahda party responsible for his death – a charge it denies.

It called for a rally on Saturday afternoon in defence of the National Constituent Assembly and against political violence.

The army has remained deployed around the Tunisian capital amid fears of further violence.

The Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali has repeated his offer to replace his government with technocrats and call early elections.

Hsouna Ellouz, a 63-year-old Tunis resident, said:
“I hope that the modification of the government can calm the tensions that are here in Tunisia.”

A young woman added: “Tunisia is not the same anymore, this is unfortunate and frankly I cry when I see Tunisia in this situation.”

Hundreds of thousands of Tunisians thronged the Jellaz cemetery in a Tunis suburb on Friday for the funeral.

There were chants of anti-government slogans. Chokri Belaid was a leading critic of governing Islamists and had accused them of attacks on opposition figures.

The interior ministry said 132 people arrested during the clashes were being questioned to see whether a particular group was behind the violence.